We lead double lives. We go to work for profit, to pay bills and buy groceries. To buy books and beer. To buy equipment for independently produced projects.
We go to work for eight, nine, ten, twelve hours a day, and then we get home one way or another: on foot, by bicycle, by subway, by bus. We dilly dally around making dinner for as long as we can until we’re beyond hungry.
We cook. We clean. We zone out. We watch something. We watch something else. Someone picks up a book. Someone puts on a record.
Sometimes we’re alone and sometimes we’re with other people. Sometimes it is not we but I.
On the days that are not devoted to work-for-survival, we try to make things. We experience failure on a regular basis. We experience inspiration on a regular basis. We get distracted. We feel full of wonder and hope and then the sun goes down and we feel full of youth and recklessness. Wonder is not always youthful and youth is not always wondrous; hope is not always reckless and recklessness is not always hopeful.
We have appointments. We make payments. We do chores and errands. We oversleep alarms. We take care of other people’s children. We make other people’s dreams come true. We clean other people’s dishes. We make dishes dirty for other people to wash. Sometimes we are too loud and sometimes we are silent and still. Sometimes we look at the grass growing through the cement in the street median and we want some other place to be home.
We add up the hours it takes to make money, to travel to and from our jobs, to make meals for ourselves and the people we love, to make sure our house is a home and not just a place to rest.
Time moves in circles and waves. Time forgets us. The days do not just pass through us, they wreck havoc in us, they knead our muscles, they rattle our bones, they pull at our hair, they suck at our hearts.
We are amazed at the ways people figure out how to go beyond surviving to living. We are still wondering why and how people don’t give up so easily. We are ashamed of ourselves when we say there isn’t enough time, after all there was to do today, to get our hands dirty doing something we love.